Are you as obsessed with Star Wars as I am?
I was a young teenager when Star Wars Episode I Phantom Menace came out (let’s not even get into the debate that it was technically the 4th movie, not the 1st and barely even worth the screen time because the original 3 movies were/are the best of the franchise… not that I have clear opinions on the matter or anything).
My older brother Devon and I just had to have a pair of lightsabers to battle with in our backyard in rural Illinois.
We saved up our allowance money for months the summer after the movie came out so we could afford the “good” lightsabers – the ones that telescoped back into the handle when you were done, lit up, and made semi-realistic sound effects (in early 2000s times) when the lightsabers hit each other.
He chose green (of course), while I went rogue and wanted the double-handled red lightsaber Darth Maul had in the movie. Yeah, I’m bad.
I’ve always thought my brother fancied himself the Jedi hero who would go on to whoop his evil Sith little sister’s butt literally every time we did battle.
But even then I figured maybe he should’ve had the red Sith lightsaber instead of me.
You see, my brother didn’t just stop when he had you on the ropes and had clearly won. He had to dominate.
I remember battle after battle using my puny arms and shoulders to swing my saber high, then low, then twisting trying to find any weakness in his defense. But alas, none.
Within a handful of seconds, he’d beaten me again.
But instead of stopping, he’d keep going, still swinging and pushing until my upper back couldn’t take any more and I’d put my hands in front of my face for a little bit of protection. And sure enough, being the bully that he was, he’d whack my fingers. I’d cry. Battle over.
Thankfully, my brother eventually grew out of such cheap tactics of winning.
But those lightsaber battles stuck with me. I wanted to learn how to use my body to really sword fight.
I took my first German longsword lesson (the same style of swordfighting used to choreograph the original lightsaber battles in the Star Wars franchise) about 5 years ago.
I realised my childhood mistake in that first lesson: my upper back and shoulders were in pain because they were trying to do all the work rather than relying on my core strength to support me.
Swordfighting these days is significantly easier because I now know how to use my whole body together. But it’s particularly staggering how much difference a strong core makes.
In today’s mini-class, I go over 3 core exercises specifically designed to relieve upper back pain and learn how to use your upper back muscles in tandem with your core.
The combo is especially powerful for injury prevention so you never have to worry about upper back pain again.
Watch the mini-class now and leave a comment below: what was the one biggest takeaway you got from today’s mini-class?